How easy is it to be deceived? Is deception a natural way of life? What can I do to keep from being deceived?

In the U.S. News and World Report, August 26/September 2, 2002 issue, an article is featured on Hoaxes. With interest I read this to find a common denominator to our gullibility for being deceived. How can individuals, even millions, allow themselves to be hood-winked into spending their money, time, effort, hopes, dreams, even their life on a hoax?

It appears we are lead astray by our human nature [Romans 7:23] which is a sinful nature. This nature gets us into all kinds of trouble [1 John 2:15-17] . This nature cannot please the Father [Romans 8:7-8] .

Of course we are told the arch deceiver and liar is the devil [Revelation 12:9] and our desires are his desires [John 8:44] .

We need to be alert to the deceptions around us.

For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. (Romans 16:18 NAS unless noted, all underlining added)

Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:6)

Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. (1 John 2:26)

and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time. (Revelation 20:3)

Ways of being decieved are empty words, being unsuspecting, others trying to deceive us, or even deceiving ourselves.

We have been warned by Yeshua (Jesus) to be especially alert in these end times [Matthew 24:4-5] .

So what must we do? We have the assurance that if we have the anointing from the Holy One, we will not be led astray, we will know the truth and will not be deceived [1 John 2:20, 26-27] .

My recommendation, study, all Scripture! Do not let the sinful nature control you [Romans 8:9-11] . Allow the grace of Yeshua to lead you, ask Him, for direction and to keep you from the deception of the evil one, our own selves and others.

Have you been deceived? Are you sure? Follow Paul’s admonition, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV).

If you want to have the Holy Spirit guide you in your studies, to guide you in your daily life and into all truth [John 14:26] [John 16:13-15] start by following the instructions of Peter in Acts 2 [Acts 2:38] .

Then we must trust Yeshua to make us like Him [Philippians 2:5] .

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